Upbeat (TV series)
|Also known as||The Big Five Show|
|Presented by||Don Webster|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Production company(s)||Herman Spero Productions|
|Original network||WEWS-TV (1964–66)
|Picture format||Black and white (1964–67)
|Original release||1964 – 1971|
Originally titled as The Big 5 Show, the series began as a local program when it premiered in 1964, the name was a reference to WEWS Channel 5 and the 5 to 6 p.m. time slot on Saturday afternoons. When the program became syndicated nationally, the name of the show was changed to Upbeat, and as stations had the option of airing the program at different times, the program's title change was necessary.
The introduction of the program commenced with a studio musician shouting "hey let's go with the Upbeat show!" as the in-house band, Dave C and the Sharptones, would play the introductory theme song with the program's main title logo, slowly exploding and coming back together again in a quasi-animated frame by frame fashion as the performers were announced for that particular episode. The series was aired in black and white from 1964 until 1967, then broadcast in color from 1967 until the series demise in 1971.
Local and area performers
In addition to such local talent as the Rapid Transit, the GTOs, the Grasshoppers, the Baskerville Hounds, Bocky and the Visions, the Damnation of Adam Blessing, the James Gang and Raspberries founder Eric Carmen, many regional performers gaining national exposure also appeared on the show including Question Mark & the Mysterians, Terry Knight and the Pack, Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, the Chylds, the Bob Seger System, Cleveland's the Outsiders and Canton's O'Jays .
The Upbeat dancers
During years when "Go-Go" was popular, the show featured its own go-go girls made up of area young ladies dressed in the popular outfits and footwear of that period.
Some of the original dancers included: Jeff Kutash, Sue Dubbs, Danny Butler, Judy Kaye, Joan Kuchta, Sandy Salamone, Kathy Watson, Sandy Ashmun, Barbara Chapman, Linda Wike, John Harrison and Dave Carter.
Prior to 1966 Upbeat was televised locally. By 1968 it was nationally syndicated in over 100 cities. The dancers during that period (1968–71) included: Joanne Zelasko, Jean Hagadorn, Arlee Gibson, Arline Burks, Linda Wike, Beverly Jones, Constance Gibson, Diane Rini, Jacquelyn Carson, Diane Friedl, John Magill, Kim Havrilla, Linda Mulcahey, Mary Lynn Curnayn, Michael Ray and Peggy Miller.
- ? and the Mysterians
- James Brown
- Jackie Wilson
- The Box Tops
- The Who
- Stevie Wonder
- John Denver
- The Rolling Stones
- The First Edition
- B.B. King
- The Miracles
- Pink Floyd
- The Impressions
- Bobby Sherman
- The Left Banke
- The Incredible Fog
- The Lemon Pipers
- The Vogues
- The Monkees
- The Easybeats (performing "Friday On My Mind" & "Heaven And Hell").
- Otis Redding with The Bar-Kays (Appeared on December 9, 1967; Redding and 4 members of The Bar-Kays died in a plane crash the next day)
- The Yardbirds
- Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich
- The O'Jays
- The Barbarians
- Blue Cheer
- Jefferson Airplane
- Little Anthony and the Imperials
- Inez & Charlie Foxx
- Lesley Gore
- Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons
- Jerry Lee Lewis
- Paul Revere and The Raiders
- The Shadows of Knight
- The Music Explosion
- The Fifth Estate (band)
- Richard and the Young Lions - 2 appearances
- The Shangri-Las
- The Velvet Underground (1969) - This is believed to have been the band's only national TV appearance.
- Jerry Butler
- Jack Blanchard & Misty Morgan
- Keith and the Wild Kingdom
- Wilmer and the Dukes
- Chubby Checker
- Arlene Fine. "And the Upbeat' show goes on". Retrieved 2010-05-29.
- Deanna R. Adams. Rock 'n' roll and the Cleveland connection, page 63. Retrieved 2010-06-06.